PUEBLO WEST — In light of allegations that a 15-month-old boy died in the care of his foster parent, foster care advocates say they're appalled. But they also say now, it's that much more important for foster families to know, it's OK to get support.
The press release was brief, about as brief as 15-month-old Aiden Seely's life. But in less than a page it confirmed, the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office suspects he died in the care of someone entrusted to protect him.
The news hit a nerve with Jacque Thurman-Wright.
"My initial reaction any time any child is killed at the hands of their caregiver is absolute heartbreak," Thurman-Wright said. "Absolute heartbreak."
For nearly 20 years, she's devoted her career to supporting foster families and their children at Hope & Home in Colorado Springs.
"We recruit and certify families to take care of children in the child welfare system," she said.
A certification that, in Colorado, is not easy for just anyone to get.
"They are held to a much higher standard," she said. "Just like a policeman would be or a pediatrician would be."
But like the rest of us, foster parents are still human.
"With foster care, the key to success is support," she said.
That's why she does what she does.
"One thing Hope and Home does is we create a community and a climate where foster families are able to tell us if they're tired, if they need a break," she said.
In light of a life cut tragically short, it's still as important as ever to realize there is support.
"I really wouldn't want this situation to deter anyone, if you've been thinking about foster care, from getting involved. If anything, this situation should really motivate you to step up," she said.